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Russia and Ukraine are set to resume peace talks in Turkey. Optimism of the talks leading to some resolution between the nations exerted pressure on the WTI crude oil prices this morning.
Profits earned by China’s industrial firms climbed 5.0% from a year ago to 11.58 trillion yuan in January-February, slowing from a 34.3% increase in 2021, which sent the CNY/USD pair lower in forex trading this morning
S&P raised its outlook for Saudi Arabia from stable to positive, while affirming the country’s rating at A-/A-2. However, the SAR/USD forex pair remained flat after the news.
Canada’s government budget deficit shrank to C$5.2 billion in January, from C$20 billion in the year-ago month. However, the CAD/USD pair declined in forex trading this morning.
The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index was revised lower to 59.4 in March, from a preliminary reading of 59.7, which exerted slight pressure on the Nasdaq 100 index on Friday.
What’s happening: European stocks edged higher on Friday, with investors assessing the ongoing war in Ukraine.
What happened: Markets in Europe bounced off session lows to end the week slightly higher as investors focused on several economic reports.
However, one of the major stock markets in the Eurozone closed lower on Friday.
Why it matters: Investors globally have been monitoring talks around the Russia-Ukraine conflict with several high-profile meetings taking place on Thursday while the war rages on.
NATO announced plans to deploy extra troops near Ukraine, while the US and the UK announced more sanctions against Russia. The US also announced a gas deal with the EU to supply at least 15 billion cubic metres of liquefied natural gas to the common block during the year.
Markets saw another volatile week, amid a hawkish stance from the Federal Reserve, which raised prospects of the US central bank tightening its monetary policy more aggressively to combat surging inflation.
Investors grew concerned after Germany reported a decline in the Ifo Business Climate indicator by 8.1 points to a 14-month low of 90.8 for March, significantly below market expectations of 94.2. Both current conditions and expectations fell sharply with the Ukraine crisis impacting sentiment.
However, loans to Eurozone’s households grew 4.4% year-on-year in February, versus a 4.3% rise a month ago. Also, the number of people registered as out of work in France declined by 9,800 to 2.967 million in February.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 rose 0.11% to close at 453.55 on Friday, after recording losses earlier in the session. However, it ended the week in the red, representing its first weekly drop in the last three weeks. Oil and gas stocks were among the top performers on Friday, while banking shares bucked the positive market trend.
The German DAX 40 rose 0.22% to close at 14,305.76. However, the French CAC 40 lost 0.03% to close at 6,553.68.
London’s FTSE 100 gained 0.21% to settle at 7,483.35 on Friday, surging around 1% last week, even as retail sales for February came in lower than expected. UK’s retail sales fell 0.3% in February, versus the consensus estimate of 0.6% growth.
What to watch: With no major economic reports due to be released today, investors will continue assessing the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war as well as moves by other countries to impose sanctions against Moscow.
Context: Prices of the biggest cryptocurrency by market value surged as high as $45,000 on Friday.
Details: Less than a week back, Bitcoin tumbled close to the $40,000 mark, which triggered speculations of prices tumbling below the major support level. However, Bitcoin reversed direction, rising sharply through the week.
The cryptocurrency surpassed the $43,000 mark for the first time since March 3 and continued its ascent to reach $45,000 later in the week. The crypto king was expected to face some resistance near the $46,000 level. However, Bitcoin added to its gains over the weekend and was traded around $47,000 this morning, after spiking more than 5% last week.
Investors bought more cryptos amid the uncertainties surrounding the Russia-Ukraine war and the imposition of sanctions against Moscow as well as spiking inflation in major economies.
Ethereum, the second-largest digital asset, surged above the major $3,000 level last week, reversing its intermediate-term downtrend. Ethereum was trading around $3,300 this morning.
What to watch: The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine will remain in focus. Investors will also keep an eye on rising covid-19 cases in China, Europe and other regions, with total global cases surging past 482 million.
Other Markets: US indices closed mostly higher on Friday, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 up by 0.44% and 0.51%, respectively, and the Nasdaq 100 down by 0.08%.
|Technical Levels||News Sentiment|
|GBP/USD – 1.3155 and 1.3161||Positive|
|EUR/GBP – 0.8325 and 0.8329||Negative|
|S&P 500 – 4510.51 and 4529.86||Positive|
|CAC 40 – 6546.65 and 6566.03||Negative|
|DAX 40 – 14290.98 and 14332.44||Negative|
Mexico’s balance of trade, Brazil’s current account, foreign direct investment, Federal tax revenues and Central Bank of Brazil’s focus market readout, US goods trade balance, wholesale inventories, retail inventories and Dallas Fed manufacturing index, Saudi Arabia’s money supply M3 and bank lending growth, as well as Argentina’s consumer confidence and retail sales.
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